Poems 251–275


251 Instructions of the Priesthood

Written for, and Read before
the Polysophical Institution
March 19, 1855, in the Hall of L. Snow
The sun was set, and twilight’s shady mood
Spread a brown halo, ting’d with solitude.
As day’s last glimmer flitted down the west
Life’s stirring scenes demurely sunk to rest—
Soft silence lent its contemplative charm, 5
And all conspir’d the mental pulse to warm—
From world to world imagination wander’d
While thought, the present, past, and future ponder’d.
As I was musing with desire intense
That some kind guardian angel might dispense 10
Instruction: lo! a seraph form appear’d—
His look—his voice my anxious spirit cheer’d.
It was the Priesthood—that which held the key
T’ unlock the portals of eternity:
And with o’erflowing heart I took my seat 15
An enter’d student at th’ Instructor’s feet.
“What wouldst thou me?” the seraph gently said:
“Tell me—and wherefore hast thou sought my aid?”
I then replied, long, long I’ve wished to know
What is the cause of suff’ring here below— 20
What the result of human life will be—
Its ultimatum in eternity.
With firm, attentive mind—with list’ning ear
I watch’d and waited ev’ry word to hear,
As thus he said: “Tis not for you to pry 25
Into the secrets of the worlds on high—
To understand the first, the moving cause—
Councils, decrees, organizations, laws,
Form’d by the Gods pertaining to this earth
Ere your great Father from their courts came forth, 30
The routine of his ancestors to tread—
Of this new world to stand the royal head.
But then the more immediate cause of this
World’s degradation, and its wretchedness,
Is disobedience: sorrow, toil and pain, 35
With their associates follow in its train.
This life’s an ordeal, and design’d to prove
Fraternal kindness and parental love.
This earth’s your Father’s workshop: what is done—
All that’s attain’d, and what achievements won 40
Is for the parents—all things are their own—
The children now hold nothing but by loan.
Whatever some may claim in proud pretence;
No one has yet obtain’d inheritance—
E’en Abraham has no possession gained 45
Of what, in promise, he thro’ faith obtain’d;
And all that greedy hands accumulate
Is yet the Father’s, not the child’s estate.
Then shame, O shame on all the strife you see
Here, in the cradle of life’s nursery— 50
The green-eyed jealousies—the frosty hate
Which carnal, avaricious thoughts create!
How vain that phantom of mortality—
Th’ untimely form of human dignity!
’Tis soon enough for infant lips to talk 55
Of pow’r and greatness, when they’ve strength to walk—
’Tis soon enough for children to be great,
When they can boast of self-possess’d estate.
It will not matter whatsoever’s gain’d
Or what on earth, may seem to be obtain’d; 60
But ’tis important that each one prepare
To be with Christ a joint—an equal heir:
Faith and obedience and integrity
Will the grand test of future heirship be.
It matters not what station here, you fill, 65
If true and faithful to the Father’s will:
As you prepare yourself on earth, will be
Your place—your portion in eternity.
As disobedience fill’d the world with pain,
Obedience will restore it back again. 70
The base perversions of my pow’rs produce
All the strong engines, satan has in use,
And qualify the sons of men to dwell
With his dark majesty, the prince of hell.
All that obey the pow’rs of darkness, go 75
With those they follow, to the world below.
Then list to me—my precepts all obey;
The Gods have sent me in this latter day
Fully commission’d upward all to lead
Who will my counsels and instructions heed— 80
Who seek in ev’ry circumstance and place
To benefit and bless their fellow race—
Who seek their Father’s interests to enhance;
His glorious cause upon the earth advance:
Whether below, they much or little claim; 85
If they exalt and magnify His name,
And in His service labor faithfully,
They’ll have a fulness of his legacy.
Each faithful saint is an acknowledg’d heir,
And as his diligence, will be his share 90
When God, a patrimony shall bestow
Upon his sons and daughters here below.
Adam, your God, like you on earth has been
Subject to sorrow in a world of sin:
Thro’ long gradation he arose to be 95
Cloth’d with the Godhead’s might and majesty.
And what to him in his probative sphere,
Whether a bishop, deacon, priest, or seer?
Whether his offices and callings were,
He magnified them with assiduous care; 100
And by obedience he obtain’d the place
Of God and father of this human race.
Obedience will the same bright garland weave
As it has done for your great mother, Eve,
For all her daughters on the earth, who will 105
All my requirements sacredly fulfil.
And what to Eve, tho’ in her mortal life
She’d been the first, the tenth, or fiftieth wife?
What did she care when in her lowest state,
Whether by fools, consider’d small or great? 110
’Twas all the same to her—she prov’d her worth—
She’s now the Goddess and the queen of earth.
Life’s ultimatum unto those that live
As saints of God, and all my pow’rs receive,
Is still the onward, upward course to tread— 115
To stand as Adam and as Eve, the head
Of an inheritance, a new-formed earth,
And to a spirit race give mortal birth—
Give them experience in a world like this,
Then lead them forth to everlasting bliss, 120
Cloth’d with salvation and eternal joy,
Where high perfection dwells without alloy.”
Thus said the seraph:—Sacred in my heart
I cherish all his precious words impart;
And humbly pray I ever may, as now, 125
With holy def’rence in his presence bow.
The field of thought, he open’d to my view,
My wonder rous’d and admiration too:
I marvel’d at the silly childishness
Of saints, the heirs of everlasting bliss— 130
The candidates for Godheads and for worlds
As time on time eternities unfurls.
I felt my littleness, and thought, henceforth
I’ll be, myself, the humblest saint on earth;
And all that God shall to my care assign 135
I’ll recognize and use as his, not mine,
Wherever he assigns to me a place
That will I seek with diligence to grace;
And for my parents, wheresoe’er my lot,
To work with all my might, and murmur not, 140
I’ll seek their highest int’rest, till they come
And as a faithful daughter, take me home.
As thus I mused, the lovely queen of night
’Neath heav’n’s blue canopy, diffus’d her light;
Still brighter beams o’er earth’s horizon play— 145
A cheering prelude to approaching day,
When truth’s full glory will o’erspread the skies
And the bright “Sun of Righteousness arise.”
composed ca. 19 March 1855
published in Deseret News, 20 February 1856

252 To Mrs.—

Pleasure sat gently smiling when
I read th’ effusion of your pen.
Thought wakens thought: a thought express’d
Called your thoughts forth, with which I’m blest.
One gem of mind, I value more 5
Than glittering piles from mammon’s store.
We find a radius in the soul,
Illumined by th’ eternal pole,
And thro’ the heart’s deep sympathy,
We taste of immortality. 10
The blessed prescience God has given
Of immortality and heaven,
Sweetens and creams life’s flowing cup,
And swallows all the bitter up.
All pain and grief to pleasure tend— 15
Each human suff’ring has an end:
Each yoke will burst—each bondage break—
Each wounded heart will cease to ache:
All clouds will scatter—storms will cease—
All warfare terminate in peace— 20
All swellings of the waves, be o’er—
There is no sea without a shore.
That restless thing, anxiety,
The finely masked disloyalty,
Is but the lack of confidence 25
In God, our strength and our defence.
Compared with past life—life before,
What is this present? ’Tis no more
Than a mere point—a little dot,
(God grant it may not prove a blot.) 30
A life of toil, of care and pain,
Where weakness, pride and ign’rance reign.
But ’tis as God ordained to be,
And He well knows what’s good for me;
And all I have to fear, or do, 35
Is to obediently pursue
His Priesthood leadings, and obey
His providences day by day:
And thus, whatever Father gives,
His daughter thankfully receives. 40
And when I’m all in all resigned—
In very heart as well as mind,
I’m filled with light—I’ve eyes to see
His kind parental love for me:
To His requirements, constant yes, 45
Produces constant happiness;
And this, the germ of perfect peace,
If cherished, daily will increase.
To me, it matters little now,
To where I rise—to what I bow; 50
Or toil or ease, I little care
If Father’s smiles I freely share;
And when th’ interior all is right,
I have no outward foes to fight.
I war for Zion—not for me: 55
I’ve signed a gen’ral amnesty
To all injustice, strife and hate,
Which, to my single self, relate:
Th’ intenti’al evil-doer will,
Sooner or later, foot the bill. 60
Then need we trouble? Surely, no;
Nor stoop to fight an outward foe.
I glimpse at data far behind
What now is tangible to mind.
Ah! there’s a something comes to me, 65
Like figures wrought in filligree:
A something old—both old and new,
And yet, inviolably true.
Thought bursts the bound of this low earth—
On past-life’s ocean launches forth, 70
And traces our existence, ere
The Gods had formed this nether sphere.
But now I’m a child of dust;
Thanks, thanks to Him, in whom I trust,
I’m not without his wise direction, 75
His smiles, his guidance and protection.
Adam, our father—Eve, our mother,
And Jesus Christ, our elder brother,
Are to my understanding shown:
My heart responds, they are my own. 80
Perfection lifts them far from me,
But what they are, we yet may be,
If we, tho’ slowly, follow on,
We’ll reach the point to which they’ve gone.
Then, Sister, what—O, what this life— 85
Our Edens and our Goshens, rife
With all the fatness, and the most
Of excellence that mortals boast,
Contrasted with eternal blessings,
When Earth renew’d, and worth possessing. 90
Is in celestial beauty drest,
And crowned with everlasting rest?
There heart with heart and mind with mind,
In bonds eternal are entwin’d.
I know how bitter portions taste, 95
They’re med’cines given, but not to waste.
Sweet sweeter seems when bitter’s past;
Thus health will be secured at last.
Fear not, my Sister: God is just,
He’ll succor those who firmly trust 100
His justice and His mercy too,
His grace sufficient is, for you.
How blest to be on Zion’s ship!
All safe at helm, she’ll make the trip
With all aboard—a mighty host, 105
She’ll clear the swells and reach the coast.
Unwisely and untimely sought,
With evil, blessings may be fraught;
But in God’s chosen time to give,
All things, are blessings, we receive. 110
Training the mind to circumstances
Our pow’r of happiness enhances.
’Tis not when seas and waves are still,
That mariners improve their skill,
“We suffer to progress:” ’Tis so, 115
’Neath mighty pressures, spirits grow.
But O, that glorious day of rest,
With sweet associations blest!
With gratitude my feelings swell
That I’m of favored Israel. 120
My heart is full—too full to write—
Dear Madam, Sister, Friend, good night.
published in Poems 2, 1877

253 The Will

We may leave the dear homes of our childhood—
All the scenes of our earliest love—
The clear cascades and streams of the wild-wood,
And the frequented walks of the grove.
We may sacrifice friends and relations, 5
With all else that the fond heart would prize;
And with patience submit to privations,
And the changes of fortune, despise.
Of the cup of this life’s deepest sorrow,
We may drink, and its dregs we may drain, 10
While the prospects that bloom for tomorrow
Are blighted again and again.
We may bask in the Spirit’s bright visions—
On the pinions of faith, may ascend—
With the angels of God, hold sweet converse; 15
And rich blessings, our footsteps attend.
With our might, we may seem to be doing,
And withall, there’s one thing, if we lack;
Howsoever intently pursuing,
We are certainly off from the track. 20
For we all are requir’d to surrender,
And never tenaciously hold—
On the altar to cheerfully tender
That which some esteem dearer than gold.
Some would even choose sooner t’ extinguish 25
A blest hope with the righteous to dwell,
Than that dear little treasure relinquish,
They indulgingly love it so well.
Yet our labor, our tithings and offerings
Will to little or nothing amount, 30
If that one—just that one little item
Is withheld from the gen’ral account.
Though we keep every other commandment,
In the one, we may be lacking still:
Not to sell and impart our possessions, 35
But to lay on the altar, the Will.
Tho’ we pass over Seas Of Affliction
And are often in furnaces tried;
If the will is not sacrificed freely,
We shall but for a season abide. 40
Very small it may be in appearance—
Is its pow’r not invincible still?
Yes, and millions go down to perdition
Thro’ the gratification of Will.
composed March 1855


254 Address

Brothers and Sisters,
As this is the eve
On which our President will take his leave
Of our assemblies; please to pardon me
While I express my valedictory.
This is a dispensation rife with change: 5
The saints, aware of this, deem nothing strange.
As mighty revolutions stride abroad,
We all behold the handy work of God
Whose scourging rod is ting’d with purple woe
To bring the haughtiness of nations low— 10
To cleanse the earth from strife and wickedness,
And introduce the reign of righteousness.
The hurried motions of all things portend
The long predicted—fast approaching end
Of gentile greatness and ungodly pride 15
Of those that fear not God, and truth deride
With hearts of unbelief and malice rife—
They’re judg’d unworthy of eternal life;
And to the scatter’d house of Jacob, now
Salvation’s key is turn’d, and truth will go. 20
When they receive the truth, the time is near
That Zion’s pow’r and glory will appear.
A preparation speedily must be
Accomplish’d here, thro’ faith and industry:
For God thro’ faith and practice will restore 25
The earth again, and crown with blessings more
Than in her first-created loveliness;
As man returns again to holiness.
And to this end Zion must haste to lengthen
Her cords, and her increasing stakes to strengthen 30
And all her children, with untiring care
Must, some be lab’ring here, and others there;
That all her Cities may in beauty rise,
And their tall mountain spires salute the skies.
The “Polysophic Institute” will now 35
To laws of gen’ral good, most nobly bow,
And with obedient, cheerful, willing heart
Yield an assenting sanction, while we part
With our dear Brothers Cannon, Smith and Snow,
Who will be blessings wheresoe’er they go: 40
No matter where our lots may chance to fall,
When Priesthood dictates, that is wisdom’s call.
Then brethren go: yes, go, and be you blest—
May God th’ Eternal’s blessing on you rest—
May Inspiration’s living currents flow 45
Into your understanding and bestow
The gifts of patience, wisdom, knowledge, might
And strew your paths with pure, celestial light
That what your brains and sinews find to do
May others bless, and honor shed on you— 50
In whatsoe’er your various toils shall be,
May each be crown’d with rich prosperity.
May that same spirit which has blest us here,
Fill your whole souls, imparting life and cheer.
Keep mem’ry’s mirror clear—’twill thus recall 55
Our social evenings in this favor’d Hall;
Of which the recollection will be sweet
To you and us, till we again shall meet.
composed 16 April 1855


255 To Elder R. N.

Appointed to a European Mission
Brother Robert, a portion of Priesthood
With the keys that pertain thereunto;
Has been plac’d by the holy Anointing
In the House of the Lord, upon you.
That which opens to man the pure channel, 5
Thro’ which treasures of knowledge are giv’n—
The grand link in the chain of salvation,
Which extends to a fulness in heav’n.
Then, young Brother, remember your cov’nants,
Being faithful and true to your trust; 10
Ever keep yourself pure and unspotted
And be steadfast and humble and just.
Thus, the power of God will attend you,
And His spirit upon you will rest:
Thro’ the gifts of His wisdom and knowledge 15
You will ever be prosper’d and blest.
Put your trust in the pow’r of Jehovah;—
Be meek and you’ve nothing to fear—
You’ll accomplish your mission with honor
We’ll pray for you: be of good cheer.
composed ca. May 1855


256 Lines

Addressed to Elder Joseph F. Smith,
Missionary to the Sandwich Islands
Joseph, the Lord has blest you
To be, in early youth,
A herald of salvation,
A messenger of truth.
And yet the load is heavy 5
For youthful nerves to bear
Amid the hosts of trials
The sons of Zion share.
Born in the midst of Zion
And nurs’d in purity 10
You never could imagine
The world’s iniquity.
Accustom’d from your cradle
To hear the praise of God—
You knew not the blasphemer 15
Until you went abroad.
Does not your young heart sicken
To see before your eyes
The vices and corruptions
In which the world now lies? 20
And does it not with pity
And warm compassion beat,
At thought of human suffering
Which you’re compel’d to meet?
Be faithful—O, be faithful; 25
And ne’er from duty swerve;
But honor your high calling,
And honor Him, you serve.
Bless thy young servant Joseph,
O God, our Father God: 30
Preserve him pure and spotless,
And guide his steps abroad.
composed ca. 20 July 1855


257 To Joseph Scofield

on His Leaving for England
Go forth, brother Joseph, go forth and be blest;
May the Spirit of Jesus abide in your breast,
And rich draughts from the fountain of wisdom bestow—
May its influence attend you wherever you go.
Though you go among strangers, the Lord will provide 5
Friends with hearts full of kindness, who’ll stand by your side:
If you ever keep humble, and seek to do right,
You’ll be cloth’d with salvation, with knowledge and might.
O then go and be blest, and your mission fulfil:
Heretofore you’ve been faithful, you’ll be faithful still; 10
And the angels of God will your footsteps attend,
And you’ll safely return crown’d with joy in the end.
composed 7 September 1855
published in Poems 1, 1856

258 To Elder John Kay

on a Mission to Great Britain
The Spirit of Truth will direct you,
And comfort your heart, while away—
The angels of God will protect you
From all that would harm, brother Kay.
You’ve left a lov’d home in the mountains, 5
To work in the vineyard awhile—
To lift up a loud voice of warning
On your dear native “ocean-girt isle.”
Though Satan, at times, seeks to gather
Black tempest-clouds thick round your feet, 10
And hosts of the spirits of darkness
Should combine your designs to defeat,
Shrink not; but, with unyielding purpose,
Stand forth and determine to do
Whatsoever’s requir’d by the Priesthood, 15
And the Lord will pour blessings on you.
Be humble and faithful, and fear not,
And you’ll overcome all, brother Kay;
And wisdom of thought will be given you,
To confound what opposers may say. 20
The great day of the Lord is approaching,
When the faithful will reap their reward;
In absence, you’ve friends who remember
You, here in the “House of the Lord.”
composed 7 September 1855
published in Poems 1, 1856


259 To Elders F. D. Richards

J. A. Young, W. H. Kimball, J. Ferguson, J. A. Little, G. D. Grant, and E. Ellsworth,
Missionaries to Great Britain
Brothers Edmund, George, James, William, Joseph, and Franklin,
When the times of your missions are ended abroad,
Come, come to your beautiful home in the mountains—
To the chambers of Israel—the Zion of God.
Chorus—All the faithful in Zion most heartily bless you, 5
And to share in home-blessings we wish you to come;
Here are fathers and mothers, fond sisters and brothers,
Dear wives and dear children to welcome you home.
May God speed you with safety across the broad ocean,
Preserve you from tempests and pestilence too, 10
Give you prosperous passages up the two rivers,
And then over the plains, bless your journey all through.
Chorus—All the faithful, &c.
You’ve been blest through the power of the holy Anointing,
Through the faith and the prayers of the servants of God;
And because you’ve been humble the Lord has sustain’d you, 15
You have honour’d your callings and Priesthood abroad.
Chorus—All the faithful, &c.
composed 10 September 1855
published in Millennial Star, 22 December 1855


260 To Sister Mary Ann P. Hyde

on Her Departure for Carson Valley
Please accept as a token, my parting behest:
Go, go my dear Sister and in going be blest:
May the pow’r of Omnipotence shield you around—
May the sweet peace of heav’n in your bosom abound.
To your husband go forth: To diminish his care, 5
No patience—no labor—no diligence spare:—
The true solace of gentle submission impart—
With affectionate kindness, comfort his heart.
Health and strength will be giv’n you, and wisdom also,
And the streams of salvation around you will flow; 10
And the righteous will bless you; then be of good cheer
And remember, you’ve friends who remember you here.
composed 9 October 1855


261 Psalm—

Written for the Literary and Musical Assembly
1 We will chant the praises of the Lord God of Hosts—we will honor
His name in our “Literary and Musical Assemblies.”
2 His spirit is the soul of every entertainment—the interest of His
kingdom, the prompter of all our efforts.
3 God, who inhabits eternity—who dwells in fulness of light—who
speaks, and all the intelligences of the heavenly courts, give audience. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—He is the God of Joseph, Brigham and Heber.
4 How blessed are all they that put their trust in Him—who delight in
obeying the voice of His servants—who rejoice in the purity of His ordinances, and in the justice and equity of his statutes.
5 He sent the angel Moroni to declare to Joseph the introduction of
the dispensation of the fulness of times—He sent Peter, James and John to commit unto him the keys thereof.
6 Through Joseph His servant, He established the principles of
righteousness upon the earth, and laid the foundation for a Government of peace.
7 Though small in the beginning, and a theme of laughter and
derision among the scribes and pharisees of modern times; it is truly a marvelous work and a wonder—it has already spread from nation to nation—it has become mighty, and is even a terror to the high ones of the earth.
8 It is gathering the honest in heart from every clime—they are
flowing like the bold and steady current of a broad stream—they are coming up to Zion in multitudes—the spirit of God is in their hearts, and the strong cords of faith and obedience are drawing them together.
9 When those means, on which the gentiles lean for support, became
insufficient for the great work of gathering the House of Israel; the wisdom of God, in the heart of him upon whom fell the mantle of Joseph, suggested measures to meet the circumstances and necessities of the times; and to the joy of the hearts of thousands, those measures have proved successful.
10 Glory, honor and adoration be unto the Lord our God, for what our
eyes have seen, and our ears have heard.
11 Well may the nations of the earth tremble, for even this is a
testimony and a warning that will leave them without excuse in the day of judgment.
12 The faithful sons and daughters of Abraham have surmounted the
hardships and privations of a journey on foot, and with the newly invented Hand-carts, they are flocking to the standard of Zion, which now waves on the tops of the mountains of Ephraim.
13 They come not laden with the gold of Ophir—they come not
decked with the glittering ornaments and splendid attire of worldly grandeur; but, through the tender mercies of Him who “tempers the storm to the shorn lamb,” they come richly supplied with the more requisite capital for strengthening the stakes of Zion, and for erecting the Temple of our God; even the brain, the bone and the sinew.
14 Let them not repine at the hand of adversity—let them not cease to
rejoice in the kind providence through which they have made their escape from Babylon; and ere long they will be clothed in garments more beautiful than those of earthly princes, and the beauty thereof will be the work of our own hands.
15 Let us all take hold with our might to assist in rolling on the wheel
of salvation, until Zion shall be established, and the Government of God be appreciated here, and respected by the nations afar off.
16 There is a furnace in Zion—the fire thereof has already commenced
to burn, and the heat will continue to increase until iniquity shall be purged from our midst: The time has come when those who profess to be saints should arise and shake themselves from the dust; and be saints in very deed, and purify and sanctify themselves before the Lord.
17 Then will the treasures of the earth—the treasures of the deep, and
the treasures of the heavens above, be poured out to the Saints of God, in great abundance.
18 Then will the beauty of Zion shine forth clear as the sun at
noonday—she will arise terrible in might—the glory of God will fill her courts, and celestial beings will minister in her holy places.


262 Dedication

To all the Saints of God, no matter where
Your countries lie, or what your nations are;
To all who love the Truth, and seek it too;
To all the friends of Zion—unto you
I dedicate this Volume. May it go 5
To all who will receive it, high and low;
And to the head instructive hints impart,
Or what will comfort, cheer, or soothe the heart:
To prompt the Saints to be more faithful still,
And more submissive to the Father’s will; 10
More subject to the order God has given
On earth, the pattern of the things in heaven.
May Zion’s strangers on its pages find
A word, a sentence that will strike the mind
Perhaps the thing call’d “Mormonism” is true— 15
Investigate, believe, receive it too,
And share in Zion all the blessings given
Through an obedience to the law of heaven.
There is a state of being, yet to be,
Wrapt in the mantle of futurity, 20
When Adam’s sons, the sons of God, will dwell
In triumph over all the powers of hell:
When earth, restor’d, will yield a rich increase—
Zion establish’d, crown’d with joy and peace:
When man’s enjoyment will be unalloy’d— 25
His senses all perfected, not destroy’d;
Progressing on through immortality,
Rise to the Godhead, and eventually,
As is the Father, so the sons will be.
published in Poems 1, 1856


263 A Word to the Saints

Who Are Gathering
[“Think not, when you gather to Zion”]
Think not, when you gather to Zion,
Your troubles and trials are through—
That nothing but comfort and pleasure
Are waiting in Zion for you.
No, no; ’tis design’d as a furnace, 5
All substance, all textures to try—
To consume all the “wood, hay, and stubble,”
And the gold from the dross purify.
Think not, when you gather to Zion,
That all will be holy and pure— 10
That deception and falsehood are banish’d,
And confidence wholly secure.
No, no; for the Lord our Redeemer
Has said that the tares with the wheat
Must grow, till the great day of burning 15
Shall render the harvest complete.
Think not, when you gather to Zion,
The Saints here have nothing to do
But attend to your personal welfare,
And always be comforting you. 20
No; the Saints who are faithful are doing
What their hands find to do, with their might;
To accomplish the gath’ring of Israel,
They are toiling by day and by night.
Think not, when you gather to Zion, 25
The prize and the victory won—
Think not that the warfare is ended,
Or the work of salvation is done.
No, no; for the great Prince of Darkness
A tenfold exertion will make, 30
When he sees you approaching the fountain
Where the truth you may freely partake.
published in Poems 1, 1856


264 To a Sister Abroad

Come, come here and dwell with the Saints of God—
Come, partake of the fountains which flow from heav’n;
Where the light of truth freely spreads abroad
And the sweet peace of God to the heart is giv’n.
Tho’ your pathway in life has been lone and drear, 5
Still hope on—there’s before you a brighter day;
For the storm-cloud will burst, and ere long, appear
The full rainbow preceding the sun’s clear ray.
Our great Father’s law is the law of love,
How painful soever the process may seem; 10
To prepare us to reign in the courts above,
On the earth we must fathom affliction’s stream.
The God whom we worship, is wise and just;
Then acknowledge His hand and fear no ill;
He is faithful to all who His promise trust— 15
He has led you thus far—He will lead you still.
Dear Sister, no longer in Babylon roam,
Where the accents of friendship and truth are few:
In the midst of the Saints in our mountain home,
The purest of hearts fondly beat for you.


265 To Mrs. Martha S. Heywood

O why should we weep o’er the lov’d ones,
Who are call’d from our presence to go,
To inhabit a clime unbeclouded
With mortality’s frailties and woe?
O why should you mourn for your lov’d one? 5
You will shortly caress it again;
Where enjoyment is cloth’d with perfection,
Unmingled with sorrow and pain.
The dark vail of obscurity round us—
The thick mantle which ignorance weaves; 10
Occasions our sighing and mourning:
’Tis the weakness of nature that grieves.
But the vail from the mind will be taken—
We shall burst the dark curtain of night—
From our slumbers, we yet shall awaken, 15
And bask in Eternity’s light.
composed 14 April 1856


266 “Whatever Is, Is Right”

All axioms received;
Require some certain principles,
On which to be believ’d.
With good and evil—right and wrong, 5
This present world is rife—
Right is not wrong—wrong is not right,
In any form of life.
If there are given rules, by which
Good is from evil, made; 10
’Tis well for ev’ry Saint of God,
To understand the trade.
To all who love and practice wrong,
Wrong is forever wrong;
While unto those who practice right, 15
Right will be right, as long:
But ev’ry wrong will be o’er-rul’d,
Resulting for the best,
To all who in life’s furnaces,
Stand every trying test. 20
Had not Missouri, in her spite
And hatred, driv’n us forth;
The sound of truth would not have spread
So widely o’er the earth.
When in Nauvoo, we were beset 25
With foes on ev’ry side—
The Church was grievously oppres’t—
Our Prophet crucified!
Surrounded by a murd’rous brood,
Nurs’d in corruption’s nest— 30
The vilest offspring of the vile,
Of Satan’s soul possess’d:
In spite of all their hatefulness,
Diffusing death and thrall;
We, clinging to our rightful homes— 35
Our lands—our earthly all;
Might have remain’d, and struggled on:—
They thrust us out—we come
And found a peaceful resting place,
In this wild mountain home. 40
To those that play’d a treacherous part,
That is an evil day:
And they and theirs, will feel the smart
When time has pass’d away.
We’ve here a better Government, 45
And more of safety too,
Than we experienc’d in our own,
Our beautiful Nauvoo.
Thus God will use the wickedness
And all the wrath of man, 50
To magnify His holy name,
And execute His plan:
All evil purposes and schemes,
His wisdom will o’er-rule,
And make of each of Satan’s imps, 55
Though vile, a useful tool.
For finer work and finishing,
The polish’d tools will do:
But God wants sledges, threshing-flails,
And battle-axes too. 60
And when we love to do His will
With all our mind and might,
The Lamp of Life, His spirit’s glow,
Will show that all is right—
That ev’ry suff’ring—ev’ry ill, 65
And all the foes we meet:
Will serve our interest in the end,
And make our joy complete.
Offences must needs come, ’tis said:
We also further know, 70
There is on them by whom they come,
Pronounc’d a fearful woe.
If we are cloth’d with innocence,
And to our Cov’nants true;
What though we suffer for the wrong, 75
The evil-minded do?
The time will surely come when those
Who’ve cheated in life’s play;
Will find they shake an empty purse,
And yet the Bill to pay. 80
Whene’er we feel chastisement’s rod,
For wrongs ourselves have done;
We’re taught our conduct to control,
And future ill to shun;
As if the shades of darkness were 85
Converted into light;
Through reformation’s handy work,
Wrong may conduce to right.
For here had plenty’s ceaseless board,
Without a care, been spread; 90
Who would have own’d the Giver’s hand,
Or known the worth of bread?
How many would, as saviors, here,
With wheat their garners stor’d,
Ere famine’s cup of bitterness, 95
Is on the Gentiles pour’d?
But when pale hunger’s meagre hand
Is on the stomach laid;
The blind discern the pencil-lines,
By wisdom’s finger made. 100
Our father Adam, broke the law
His father gave, and thus
That blind-fold thing, degen’racy,
Has travel’d down to us.
The Saviour’s pity mov’d:—He came— 105
Up to the fount of day,
While all the troops of darkness storm’d,
He stoop’d to mark the way;
And through the curse with all its ills—
With death and sorrow rife; 110
He grants to those who follow him,
The pow’rs of endless life.
And He has giv’n a perfect law—
When walking in its light;
As Saints of God, we understand, 115
“Whatever is, is right.”
That dark, dark cloud, call’d ignorance,
Which veils the human mind;
Has clogg’d the springs of common-sense,
And press’d the judgment blind: 120
He who calls forth the light of day
From crude, commingling gloom;
And bright Celestial rolling spheres
From chaos’ op’ning womb—
Who built the pillars of the sky— 125
Who counts the hosts of heav’n:
Holds ev’ry key and instrument,
By which results are giv’n.
When we, thro’ fear of coming ill,
His providence distrust; 130
We sit in judgment on His hand,
And deem his ways unjust.
Should ought exist from which His skill
Can nothing good produce;
That is a wrong without a right— 135
A thing without a use:
But who indulge the thought? And who
Would impudently dare
Impeach the high imperial Court,
Or charge a failure there? 140
Altho’ the links are intricate—
Though long may be the chain—
Though Gordian knots with us occur;
With God all things are plain.
’Tis not for us to rule the storm 145
Or Zion’s bark to steer:
With our own duties well perform’d,
We’ve nothing more to fear.
What should we fear? Who guides the ship?
None but Eternal Might: 150
Father Himself is at the helm:
published in The Mormon, 3 January 1857


267 All Is Well

O! AWAKE! my slumb’ring minstrel—
Let my harp forget its spell;
Say, O say, in sweetest accents,
Zion prospers—all is well.
Strike a chord unknown to sadness, 5
Strike, and let its numbers tell,
In celestial tones of gladness,
Zion prospers—all is well.
Zion’s welfare is my portion,
And I feel my bosom swell 10
With a warm, divine emotion:
When she prospers—all is well.
Zion, lo! thy day is dawning,
Though the darksome shadows swell:
Faith and hope prelude the morning— 15
Thou art prospering—all is well.
Thy swift messengers are treading
The high courts where princes dwell;
And thy glorious light is spreading—
Zion prospers—all is well.
published in Poems 1, 1856


268 Song for the 24th of July 1856

We now a cheerful tribute pay
To that eventful, glorious day
Which sheds an everlasting ray
Of light, to gladden Zion.
Shout, ye hills, and shout ye valleys— 5
Shout, ye lofty mountains;
Ye rugged rocks, prolong the shout,
And echo through the kanyons.
Hallelujah, hallelujah—
Praise the God of Joseph: 10
Long live the prophet Brigham Young
To pioneer for Zion.
The deed we celebrate, will be
Renowned thro’out eternity,
And stand in high celebrity 15
When nations are forgotten.
Shout, ye hills, &c.
Long life, and health, and merry cheer
To every faithful Pioneer:
The dove-like Peace is perching here,
And brooding on the mountains. 20
Shout, ye hills, &c.
Here’s sweeter music than the noise
Of “Uncle Sam’s” contentious boys,
Who strive like children for their toys,
And make a game of Congress.
Shout, ye hills, &c.
We’ll let them fuss, and fret, and stew— 25
Brow-beat and cane each other too;
We here have better work to do,
And better men to do it.
Shout, ye hills, &c,
We’ve kanyon work and kanyon joys,
We’ve mountain life and mountain boys— 30
Here heaven-born Freedom’s mellow voice,
Earth’s highest note is sounding.
Shout, ye hills, &c.
The hosts of Israel gather home—
To Deseret all nations come—
With wagons, horses, mules, and some 35
Are coming now with hand-carts.
Shout, ye hills, &c.
To every Saint a hearty cheer—
May those who’re faithful gather here,
And when the Bridegroom shall appear
Be ready for the supper. 40
Shout, ye hills, &c.
composed ca. 24 July 1856
published in Deseret News, 30 July 1856


269 To Mrs. H. H. Peirce

Thou much belov’d in Zion
I’ve known and lov’d thee long:
Thy works, thy faith and patience,
Cannot be told in song.
The Holy One of Israel, 5
Guards thee with tender care:
And thou wilt yet, in fulness,
His glorious presence share.
All things will work together
For thy eternal good; 10
For thou hast true and faithful,
To all thy cov’nants, stood.
The Lord will try His people—
He’s tried and proven thee:
The angels now bear witness 15
Of thy integrity.
The lamp of truth within thee
Will never cease to burn;
Till thou shalt to the fountain
Of life and light, return. 20
Then let thy heart be cheerful,
Thou blessed of the Lord:
Thou shalt, thro’ faith and patience,
Obtain a full reward.
When thou, on earth, hast finish’d 25
The Heavenly Father’s will;
He has a place appointed,
For thee, in heav’n, to fill.
composed 17 August 1856


270 To Elder Thomas Bullock

on His Departure for Europe
Go forth, thou son of Zion;
And going, be thou blest:
The light of Zion’s Priesthood
Upon your path will rest.
You leave the Vales of Ephraim— 5
Your peaceful mountain home,
Amid the world’s confusion,
In distant parts to roam.
You’re going from the nurs’ry,
A truly favoured child, 10
To tread the world’s brown desert,
In Bab’lon’s dreary wild.
You leave the fount of knowledge,
And yet its streamlets flow
Through God’s appointed channels 15
Where’er his servants go.
Should evil powers surround you,
Lean humbly on your God,
And no one shall confound you,
While you remain abroad. 20
Touch not, taste not, nor handle,—
Trust not a thought’s pursuit
Of that which brings dishonour—
Of that which would pollute.
Go,—you will be remembered 25
By those who meet to pray
In high and holy circles,
When you are far away.
Go—go, fulfil your Mission,
Salvation’s work to spread; 30
And you’ll return to Zion
With blessings on your head.
composed 31 August 1856
published in Millennial Star, 30 January 1858


271 To Elder Robert Logan

You’re going from your home Brother—
Your peaceful mountain home:
In the cold waste of Babylon
Your duty calls to warn.
You go, salvation’s joyful sound 5
In meekness to declare:
You go, the Banner of the Lord,
On Europe’s shores to bear.
Tho’ hardships in your pathway lie—
Though darkness scowls around; 10
Gird well the gospel armor on:
You’ll be with vict’ry crown’d.
Work, while the day of labor lasts
And you’ll obtain your rest:
Through saving others, you’ll be sav’d— 15
In blessing you’ll be blest.
Go, Brother, go and never fear
What satan’s pow’rs can do;
You’ve many friends who’re faithful here,
And they’ll remember you. 20
You’ll not forget the household, where
In union you have dwelt,
Where oft we’ve heard your voice in pray’r
When round our altar knelt.
Our mutual blessings on you rest 25
While you abroad remain;
And we with joy will welcome you
To Zion’s courts again.
Then go in peace and be thou blest:
The Lord will grace bestow— 30
Wisdom and pow’r will on you rest:
Go brother Logan, go.
composed August 1856


272 My Bankrupt Bill

Written for, and Read before
the “Literary and Musical Assembly,”
Great Salt Lake City, Aug., 1856
Some “self-styled” critics have pronounced it weak
Of one’s own self to freely write or speak;
I court no critic’s censure: yet I will
Write of myself and my late bankrupt bill:
That I’d no money, was no fault or crime, 5
But I contracted debts—without a dime;
Which I acknowledge frankly should not be,
And I’ll henceforth avoid insolvency.
In this as well as ev’ry other land
Some entertainments call for cash in hand; 10
If empty handed I perchance to be,
The law of circumstance demands of me
To unreluctantly the card resign
To one whose funds are less cashier’d than mine.
And by the bye, to all I fain would say, 15
Create no bills when you’ve no means to pay;
To live within our income thus, will spare
Us many a fest’ring thought and servile care.
To our young friends I’ll give a key whereby
All future wants and wishes to supply— 20
Control yourselves, your passions all restrain,
Learn to want nothing which you can’t obtain,
Then ask no odds of circumstances—be
Faithful in duties and in feelings free;
Thus you’ll create your heav’ns where’er you dwell: 25
Want to—and can’t, you know, is Mormon hell.
’Neath the perverted sceptre Mammon wields,
Virtue and truth to gold’s base influence yield:
Men are respected if in gold they’re wealthy
Whether they gained it honestly or stealthy. 30
Not so in Zion—works and Godly fear
Preponderate o’er filthy lucre here;
Unyielding virtue—firm integrity—
Love for the Priesthood—careful industry—
In the true mint of heav’n will pass for more 35
Than all on earth that’s coined from glitt’ring ore.
The Saints may sometimes suffer want, ’tis sure,
But yet, a real Saint is never poor—
One in whose soul the holy fire of God,
The light of Truth is fully shed abroad. 40
What tho’ he cannot claim one foot of land,
Nor yet one dime of currency command?
Altho’ no gold and silver, he has got
A costly pearl the purse-proud world has not.
That heavenly foretaste of a glorious rest, 45
The peace of God abiding in the breast,
With power the gift of endless lives to gain—
Henceforth our own identity retain—
Is wealth, and wealth which holds a promise rife
With ev’ry comfort that pertains to life. 50
That very gold the gentiles madly crave
Will yet our streets, the streets of Zion pave.
Among the Saints, is gold and silver wealth?
We might as well call food and clothing health;
Brain, bone and sinew here are prov’d to be 55
Both capital and lawful currency.
In Babylon, where money is the test,
Who has the most is honor’d as the best;
Or rather, he who vainly seems to have,
And thus he’s honor’d most who’s most a knave: 60
How it is elsewhere, matters not: with us—
Worth is not reckoned by the weight of purse.
Show me a Saint that’s poor, and once for all
I’ll show you one that is no Saint at all:
He may be moneyless—who has not been? 65
That, here, is neither poverty or sin.
Leanness of soul, and meagreness of thought,
An empty barrenness of mind, is what
I should call poverty: and even worse
Than Mammon’s vot’ries think an empty purse. 70
Methink I hear one softly whisper, “Hush—
To say you have no money makes me blush.”
I have no money—blush again—to me
That kind of blush bespeaks degeneracy;
Crime, wickedness and folly bring disgrace— 75
For these should blushes mantle o’er the face:
I could name many things that figure worse
In life, than total absence of the purse.
I boast of wealth and richer streams than flow
From the most fruitful sources here below; 80
Mine is not wealth that stimulates with pride,
’Tis wealth that will eternally abide:
If I in faithfulness and patience wait,
I’d hold an heirship in a God’s estate;
And even now, I’m richer, wealthier far 85
Than those who dip in Mammon’s coffers are.
My Father’s rich—I am his lawful child—
Not one by silly, fond caressing spoil’d,
I’ve through bereavement, not indulgence, grown
In strength, tho’ woman never stands alone. 90
Who are my friends? Your worthy selves, I trust,
Whom I esteem wise, noble, good and just:
As such, each one I estimate a treasure;
In friendship, then, I’m rich in ample measure.
Who are my kindred? All the truly good, 95
Who’ve in the holy covenants faithful stood;
My kindred then, are all of royal line,
They each can claim an origin divine.
Who is my brother? Israel’s Holy One—
Pertaining to the flesh, God’s only Son; 100
He holds the birthright in eternity,
Through him the heirship is conferred on me.
And who is my Father? Is he wise and great,
And well possess’d of rich and large estate?
Who is my Father? Does he dwell below? 105
Is he a worldly potentate? O no:
All earthly things must perish—crowns will rust,
While thrones and monarchs moulder into dust—
Who is my Father? ENDLESS is his name,
He is th’ ETERNAL GOD—the Great I AM. 110
Prov’d or not prov’d, this axiom is sure,
A real Saint of God is never poor.
composed ca. August 1856
published in Deseret News, 11 February 1857

273 To Elder Coombs, Jun.

Please accept these few lines as a friendly behest:
Go; go brother go, and in going, be blest;
May the pow’r of Omnipotence shield you around,
And the spirit of God, in your bosom abound.
You’ll have wisdom and grace from the fountain of God 5
In the streams of salvation while you are abroad,
And the righteous will bless you; then be of good cheer—
You have true, faithful friends who remember you here.
You have sipp’d the pure waters of life, and you know
The true channels appointed thro’ which they will flow; 10
You have tasted the sweetness of heav’n’s perfect love
And the world’s bitter contrast, you now go to prove.
composed ca. 7 September 1856


274 Song

Written for, and Sung at an Assembly
of the Polysophical Institute
All glory to Thy name,
Thou mighty God of Jacob:
As saints, we humbly claim
Thy grace and Thy assistance
Help us our duties to fulfil 5
And in obedience to Thy will
Bring home Thy scattered Israel
From every land.
Help us to live Thy praise
In every gift and calling 10
Thy wisdom, pow’r and grace
From day to day imparting
To every circle—every sphere—
To all our social efforts here
That we may live for Zion 15
And live to Thee.
Help us O Lord, to blend
Instruction and amusement
That every thing may tend
To mutual improvement: 20
That we may live from day to day—
In all we do—in all we say
To Thy divine acceptance
And honor Thee.
Thy spirit is the charm 25
Of our associations,
The pow’r by which we form
All useful combinations
Pleasure and profit to unite
And give high tone to each delight 30
That in the scale of being
We may arise.
In Godlike unity
Long may we dwell together
And all be blest of Thee 35
Thro’ blessing one another:
May each enjoy thy favor here,
And ultimately all appear
In Thy celestial glory,
Our Father God.
composed 1855–1856


275 Reflections on the Departure

of Prest. Jedediah M. Grant
He’s gone, ’tis true, but yet, he is not dead:
Such men as Jedediah do not die.
Death came as a swift messenger from God,
And cut the thread that bound the mantle of
Mortality around him, and he shook 5
It off, a senseless, lifeless mass of earth.
It fill’d its sphere in life—he honor’d it,
Keeping it pure from all defilement; and
He sanctified it as a temple for
The Holy Ghost, in which it truly dwelt. 10
He needs no eulogy to speak his worth—
His works—his faithfulness eclipse all praise.
His life personified integrity:
Few such men live—few such have ever liv’d.
The world, to cover up, and hide its own 15
Cold-hearted selfishness, oft will applaud
The merciful, but who applauds the just?
He had the moral courage to be just,
And he was just as well as merciful.
Some say that Jedediah’s gone to rest. 20
They mean mortality, not him. To rest?
No: J. M. Grant could never rest, and leave
His fellow-lab’rers here to tug and toil—
Spend and be spent, to move the mighty ship
Of Zion on. No, no: that never was 25
His calling. He will never rest, until
Zion’s redeem’d—Jerusalem built up—
Iniquity destroy’d, and satan bound.
He’ll not relax in faith and diligence
Until his brethren shall with him partake 30
The promis’d blessings of a glorious rest.
He boldly fought the pow’rs of darkness here
And he’ll oppose them there, with all his might;
Till satan and his hosts are overcome—
Till truth and righteousness on earth shall reign. 35
We know he’s gone! We feel it deeply too;
But wherefore should we mourn? He only liv’d
For Zion here—he lives for Zion still.
He lives, and lives where the gross, cumbrous clog
Of frail mortality cannot impede 40
The steady progress of his upward course.
He’s gone with all the gospel armor on;
And where he’ll fight the battles of the Lord,
With even greater pow’r and skill than he
Was wont to do while cloth’d with mortal flesh. 45
His earthly tenement lies folded in
The arms of death, to decompose, and soon,
As fire to fire—water to water, so
Each portion to its native element
Will be return’d. The pure, invisible, 50
Eternal part—that’s destin’d to inhabit
His glorious, resurrected tenement;
Secure from all alloy—secure from all
Amalgamation with each grade and kind
Of earthly substances; will, in God’s own 55
Repository, be preserv’d until
The resurrection morning, whose blest dawn
Already sheds on us a cheering beam.
Wake up, ye Saints, and be alive to God—
‘Live your religion’—keep your armor bright— 60
Unsheath the sword and be in readiness.
Let all the pure, be purer still; and let
Th’ impure, girded with sackcloth, now make haste
To purify themselves. Let all, as Saints,
Seek wisdom at the hand of God, and thro’ 65
The counsel of his servants on the earth;
And thus obey the inspiration of
The Holy Ghost, thro’ him, the absent one.
And thro’ the mighty ones that now remain,
And be prepar’d for what is just at hand.
composed 4 December 1856
published in Deseret News, 10 December 1856

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